So, I mostly want to talk about my experience. But before I get into that, I must be honest. This was my first time reading The Book of Mormon all the way through. By myself. While I had read it several times growing up with my family. I had never succeeded in finishing on my own. Before I started, I would have been ashamed to admit this fact. But now, I'm only focusing on the good I have done. And that is, that I read it from beginning to end, on my own time. My own thought. My own initiation.
Now, you may wonder 'Why?' Why did I decide to do this task. Well, at first, it was because of a lesson taught in relief society on The Book of Mormon. She had extra challenge cards from a previous lesson. Sitting there, I thought, 'I should do it'. So I picked up one of those cards on the way out and committed to myself and The Lord that I would complete this challenge.
The more I thought about it through the day, I decided that I needed this. Not only would it be the right thing to do, but it would be beneficial to my soul. It would strengthen my testimony. And it did.
My experience was special, because it was my own. Through out my reading I learned new things. I gained a new, higher level of respect for the prophets. Especially Abinadi. I don't know why, but reading his testimony that he bore to King Noah was the most powerful experience I had this time. His unwavering faith and testimony of our Lord touched my heart and bore witness to my spirit.
While I may not have had a warm feeling overcome my soul and heart at the end, I did receive a sense of peace. When I finished reading that last verse, I could hardly believe that I had finished. At the age of 25 and growing up in the church, I had finally read The Book of Mormon all the way through.
I began reading because I knew I should. I finished reading because I knew I had to, that I needed to finish. And because of it, I had spiritual experiences. My testimony is stronger. I have a sense of knowing for myself, that the words written in this sacred book are true.
My testimony, my faith are some of most precious gifts in this life. Ones that I, like Abinadi, would die defending. I know others may not agree with this doctrine, but I will Never deny Jesus Christ. For that sin is not worth living for if it means living with the greatest regret I could imagine.
I know my redemer lives.
I know The Book of Mormon to be true.
I know that President Monson is a true and living prophet.
I know that Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon through the power and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
I know my Savior loves me.
I know that Jesus Christ will come again.
With these words I leave you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.